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quorum call: s the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that the following amendments be -- we're in a quorum call. are we? the presiding officer: we're not in a quorum call here. mr. reid: miracles never cease. the presiding officer: there you are. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that the following amendments be withdrawn: 3396 and 3398. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to a period of morning business with senators allowed to speak up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i've one unanimous consent request for a committee to meet during today's session. it's been approved by senator mcconnell and me. i ask unanimous consent that this request be agreed to and this request be printed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that with respect to the consideration of the fisa bill, the text for each of the amendments in order under the previous agreement is at the desk. the presiding officer
reid and john boehner exchange harsh words. the fiscal cliff in just five days and still no deal. the winter storm that slammed the south is now stranding thousands of travelers in the northeast and beyond. that is coming up. >>> and the russian president vladimir putin says he will sign a bill banning americans from adopting russian children. that's all ahead unless breaking news changes everything on "studio b." i'm trace gallagher in for shepard smith. first from fox at 3:00, back to work in washington, d.c. with less than five days to go before falls right off the fiscal cliff. the senate back in session today and it's the first time the senate or house has met for business between christmas and new year's in more than four decades. president obama cut his hawaii trip short arriving in washington early today. for now, the house of representatives is not in session but we've learned those lawmakers are set to return this weekend. today the senate majority leader, harry reid, says we've just about run out of time. >> if we go over the cliff, and that's where we're headed, mr. p
? basically the ball is in the senate's court? >> all you have to do is look at what harry reid, the leader of the senate has been saying from day one. every time that speaker boehner put forth a common-sense plan to fix this problem, harry reid would say, right off the bat it is doa, dead on arrival. not one thing that speaker boehner proposed that reid said, oh, we can work with that. it's about scoring political points. the american people are tired of all of us, i understand that. we just make used car salesmen look good. that's the only group is below us. but we've got to get our act together, and prove to the american people that we can regain the trust that they once had in us and get the job done. and as you say, not kick the can down the road. they want to us work this out. i hope we do. >> let's talk about something a little more bright. the former marine stuck in mexico. if you don't know the story, he was basically trying to go on a surfing trip. an old winnebago and a bunch of surf boards and some sort of antique, torn apart gun that he wanted to use to hunt rabbits and birds.
obama, john boehner, nancy pelosi and harry reid, many mitch -- mitch mcconnell all in one room. danielle nottingham tells us it maybe the last chance to get any kind of agreement to avoid that fiscal cliff. >> reporter: president obama is meeting today at the white house with top congressional democrats harry reid and nancy pelosi and leading republicans mitch mcconnell and john boehner. it's the president's first meeting with congressional leaders since november 16th. the closed door discussions are an attempt to reach a last minute agreement to avoid automatic spending cuts and tax increases due to kick in january 1st. >> probably the worst case scenario will come out of this meeting today and that is we will kick the can down the road. >> reporter: senator bob courter told cbs this morning he predicts the meeting will bring only a temporary solution. >> this afternoon's meeting feels much to me like optics to make it look like we're doing something. let me just say one more time this is a total dereliction of duty at every level. >> reporter: going over the cliff would af
, was senator mitch mcconnell and here we have the majority leader in the senate, harry reid. let's listen in for a second. >> the house has reported by the press and we all know, one of the plans didn't have a name, it wasn't plan b. i don't know which plan it was because they've had a number over there. but this plan was to show the american people that the $250,000 ceiling on raising taxes wouldn't pass in the house. why didn't they have that vote? because it would have passed. they wanted to kill it. the speaker wanted to show everybody that it wouldn't pass the house. but he couldn't bring it up for vote because it wouldn't pass. republicans -- a myriad of republicans think it's the fair thing to do and of course every democrat would vote for that. the republican leader finds himself frustrated that the president has called on him to help address the fiscal cliff. he's upset because, quote, the phone never rang. he complains that i have not passed the resolution to pass the fiscal cliff but he's in error. we all know that in july of this year we passed in the senate the relief that wo
this morning while senators are coming back to capitol hill. chip reid is at the capitol. good morning. >> reporter: good morning. the president arrived back in washington in a little bit more than an hour. the senate comes back tonight and the house it could be a couple of days. there is not the sense of urgency you would think there would be with a critical deadline looming. some members of congress admit they may well just go over the fiscal cliff and deal with it in january after the new congress is sworn in. leaving his family behind to continue their vacation without him, president obama boarded air force one early this morning and headed for washington to deal with unfinished fiscal cliff business. with just five days until the combination of automatic tax increases and spending cuts that could send the economy back into recession, mr. obama wants congress to take the lead in getting the job done. the senate convenes later today and senate majority leader harry reid told members to be prepared to address fiscal cliff issues through the weekend. reid is workin
and the agreement is going down. i mean, for example, senate majority leader harry reid is name calling and calling john boehner a dictator . this is what he had to say. >> the american people i don't think the house representative is operating without the house of representative. it is being operated with a dictatorship of the speaker not allowing the vast majority of the house and representatives to get what they want. >> that sounds ridiculous f. it was a dictatorship boehner would have gotten that vote and he couldn' get the vote. what we should do honestly guys, is swan dive ov the fiscal cliff. let president obama own the fiscal cliff. it should be called the obama cliff. >> julia: people know how much they would have to pay. folks on the man on the street interviews . people are looking at the numbers going what. >> kelly: in today's meeting should be a crucial meet the white house should have come with its plan and boehner should have come with a plan and senator reid should come with a plan but senator reid is name call speaker of the house john boehner giving retaliation of what is done .
, senate majority leader, harry reid, described the meeting as constructive. >> we're out of time. we've got to do it now. that's why the next 24 hours will be very important. >> reporter: a source familiar with the talks told nbc news the president reiterated the proposal he presented before leaving on vacation last week. calling for, among other things, a tax cut extension for those making $250,000 or less. and extending unemployment benefits that are set to expire. the source says the president is confident his plan can pass in both the house and senate if republicans allow a vote. earlier in the day, republicans blamed president obama for the stalemate. >> i agree that it is the president's responsibility to lay out a plan and to bring people together. but it's a total dereliction of duty and candidly, a lack of courage to deal with these issues. >> reporter: what's at stake for ordinary americans? with income and payroll tax cuts set to expire monday, taxes would go up for most everyone next week. $110 billion in spending cuts will kick in. and 2 million jobless americans will lo
on senate majority and minority leaders harry reid and mitch mcconnell, to lay out a deal. >> if we don't see an agreement between the two leaders and the senate, i expect a bill to go on the floor. and i have asked senator reid to do this. put a bill on the floor that makes sure that taxes on middle class families don't go up. that unemployment insurance is still available for two million people. and that lays the ground work for deficit reduction and economic growth steps that we can take in the new year. but let's not miss this deadline. >> as for the leaders they sounded a bit more hopeful than the president. >> i think it was a very positive meeting. there was not a lot of hilarity in the meeting. everyone knows how important it is. it is a very serious meeting and it would take an extended period of time as you know, waiting for us. >> i share the view of the majority leader. we had a good meeting down at the white house. we are engaged in discussions, the majority leader and myself and the white house, in the hopes that we can come forward as early as sunday and have a recommenda
possible we've learned from sources as senate majority leader harry reid works to get republican support in the senate, which he will need if he's going to pass a bill. and so we're still waiting to see exactly what it will look like that the white house wants for the threshold on income tax rates to cut off at $250,000. we will see if that ultimately is what senate majority leader reid rolls out. as of this point in time, we're expecting this to be a limited measure to deal just really with the fiscal cliff, which was supposed to be appear incentive to deal with the long-term fiscal health of the country. not part of this, obviously looking at a big package. >> can you do this even if everything goes right? getting through the two houses. i don't think the house is anywhere near -- they couldn't get a million collars for the cap of the tax rates expiring. so what is the position of the white house aides and the people are you talking to there in terms much getting a deal done? >> well, the difference would be, and when you remember plan "b" failed. it failed to garner enough support amo
are at punch bowl, national military cemetery on the island where the senator will be buried. harry reid has been making a speech moments ago and telling a where senator bob dole like senator inouye, they recuperated in michigan and later served in the senate together, bob dole walked up to the casket and lifted his left hand, his right hand was badly damage and saluted. a poignant moment. president obama at the washington cathedral, it was his really earliest political inspiration. both the president and senate majority leader reflecting on daniel inouye both a long time legislator but two days they will be getting back to work on the fiscal cliff. >> heather: the difficult job of reporting from hawaii, thank you so much, ed. >> gregg: the mother of john hammer telling her son is now in a louisiana hospital. he was released from a mexican prison last week after months behind bars. mexican authorities arrested him after he carried an antique shotgun into their country, even though he says he legally declared the weapon and had a permit for it. today his dad reportedly brought him to the emer
complications. harry reid is asking hawaii's governor to appoint a successor before the end of the year. his death leaves the democrats down one seat in the senate. >>> egypt appears to have its new constitution. the final official count won't be known until monday. both sides say the islamic-backed constitution will pass. the nation is still divided over the pass it gives president morsi. only about one-third of the voters turned out at the polls >>> newtown, connecticut, while still in mourning over the deadly school shooting is being flooded with gifts from across the country, from people expressing their grief. social workers say while they are so grateful for the donations, including about 60,000 teddy bears, it is much more than the town can handle. they are suggesting that people do charitable work or make a donation in the victim's name. >> more than $2.6 million have been attributed to the town's official memorial fund >>> file this under random acts of kindness. a group of about 100 people at denver international airport wanted to say thanks to our troops who protect our country. t
from its christmas vacation to work on a deal today. sources tell us majority leader harry reid will be pushing a scaled back version of the fiscal cliff package that president obama laid out last week. it moved the tax hike needle to $400,000 per household. no word yet on when the house might come back with time ticking away. democrats are hoping that a scaled back plan could get through the house, senate and white house before that big ball drops on 2013. that would be sometime on december 30th or even on new years eve. we want to bring in jonathan allen. he's a senior national correspondent for politico. the top headline on politico is fiscal cliff deal increasingly unlikely. i think a lot of people are feeling that pessimism right now. what are you hearing? >> well, i think what you've got here, alena, is a nash equilibrium to borrow from economic theory and game theory. each of the players believe they are pursuing their optimal strategies given the strategies of the other players and there's no reason to change it. i think as observers of this, the american public, you can
on a deal. now, sources tell us majority leader harry reid will push a scaled-back version of the fiscal cliff package that president obama laid out on friday, which moved the tax hike needle to $400,000. no word yet on when the house of representatives might come back, but democrats say the only hope we have of something getting through the house, the senate and the white house may be a very last-minute deal. cnn radio's lisa is following developments on capitol hill right now. the ball is in senate majority leader harry reid's court it would seem right now, lisa. >> that's right. harry reid and the senate seem to be the only game in town right now with the senate returning today. we also know from sources, ali, that over this christmas break there were no conversations between the president and top-level republicans. sources from both parties are telling us they are watching the senate, especially the democratic leadership in the senate. we also know yesterday house republicans came out with a statement saying that he will act only after the u.s. senate acts. we're not sure what the se
of incompetent this morning. >> yeah. >> senator reid used a phrase that has nothing to do with being a republican or democrat at this stage, i don't think, for a lot of people. the phrase he used is the american people don't understand blah, blah, blah what's going on. the american people i would submit don't understand how these people cannot do their jobs that they're elected to. so i'm wondering what's your take on what's going on in washington? you're sitting in washington. >> right. the at least we have bipartisan agreement it's all nuts, right? everyone agrees this is ridiculous and in spite of what they say, they've been talking about it for months and years and there was ample talk about what a framework should be through the election, which wasn't that long ago. there's plenty of debate. to tie the two stories we have been talking wiabout together, there was a colin powerful doctrine that general schwartzkopf executed so well in the first gulf war. which was have an exit strategy and using overwhelming force. this congress had an exit strategy. they had the idea of overwhelm
. america's largest gun rights group says we don't need new laws. chip reid is in washington with that story. chip, good morning. >> reporter: good morning, jeff. the national rifle association was silent in the days following the tragedy in newtown. now it's speaking out and reigniteing an explosive debate over gun control. the nra says it will not budge from its longtime opposition to gun control, insisting the only thing that will stop school shootings is armed guards. >> if it's crazy to call for putting police and armed security in our school to protect our children, then call me crazy. i think the american people think it's crazy not to do it. it's the one thing that would keep people safe and the nra is going to try to do that. >> reporter: nra president david kean added that banning particular guns simply doesn't work. >> we had a so-called assault weapons ban for ten years. it was allowed to expire. the fbi, the justice department and others who studied it said it made no difference. so if we're looking at things that are effective, let's talk abo
in days. >> washington remains in the same fiscal cliff clitalks. >> reporter: senator leader harry reid and john boehner are both frosty saying it's in the other guy's court saying to avert the largest tax hike in history and reid saying it's time for house republicans to put middle class families first. >> if we go past no deal, the markets are likely to decline in a significant way and involve most americans and they don't want to have themselves blamed for that. >> reporter: already stocks have dropped three days in a row over fiscal cliff fears. from wall street to main street, it is building. >> both parties to are to blame if they don't come up with something. >> we are really in what amounts to a fiscally irresponsible position trying to please everyone and please no one at all. >> reporter: even starbucks tries to hand out advice writing "come together" on every cup. >> reporter: washington could use a warm cup of coffee on a morning like this. complica complicating conversations going forward. treasury secretary, timothy geithner says on the 31st, the u.s. will hit the credit c
on senate majority on minority leads are harry reid on mitch mcconnell to work out a deal on then present it to the house. he also laid out a scaled down mini deal if they are can't manage it. >> if we don't see an agreement between the two leaders in the senate, i expect a bill to go on the floor, i asked senator reid to do this, put a bill on the floor that makes sure that taxes on miedddle class families don' go up, that unemployment is still available for 2 million people on that lays the groundwork for additional deficit reduction on economic growth steps that we can take in the new year but let's not miss this deadline. >> as for the two senate leaders, they spoke shortly after the meeting on sounded a bit more hopeful than the president. >> i think it was a very positive meeting. there was not a lot of hilarity in the meeting. everyone knows how important it is. it's a very serious meeting on it took an extended period of time, as you all know waiting for us. >> mr. president, i would just add -- i share the view of the majority leader, we had a good meeting down at the white house
and spending cuts that will impact almost every american. now it appears democratic senate leader harry reid may take the lead in crafting a compromise to avoid tax hikes on at least the middle class which was the president's parting plea. meanwhile here in california leaders are concerned about what could happen if the tax hikes and budget cuts kick in. >> this would undo a lot of the good of the extra taxes californians are willing to invest in the schools. particularly special needs students would be cut by 10% and the meals program that so many of the californias are growing up in poverty and they need that meal. >> some county and city officials are concerned about the potential impact on health and welfare programs. >>> the dreaded fiscal cliff can potentially affect a wide range of health programs. >> cbs news' wyatt andrews explains. >> reporter: professor mallen like hundreds of medical researchers has already fallen off the fiscal cliff. her budget which relies on federal grants is being cut by 10% now. as the nih, the national institutes of health, prepares for the possibility of
. hopefully will get more informations. >> harry reid speaking in the last hour from the floor of the senate. he said it appears the country is headed over the so-called fiscal cliff because of lack of progress in bipartisan talks. he stressed for republicans to come up with a plan that both houses could pass and the president could sign. >> new year's eve is fast approaching and for decades and decades the american people have watched the ball drops in times square. the countdown to midnight, the start of the new year. the american people are waiting for the ball to drop. americans and taxes are approaching the walt wrong direction. on the first of this year americans will have less income than they have today. if we go over the cliff, and it looks like that's where we're headed the house of representatives as we speak have four days left after today for this year. the speaker has to give them 48 hours notice. i can't imagine their consciences. wherever they are around the country. we are here trying to get something done. >> so what happens in five days when the tax cuts expires? most amer
majority leader harry reid, house minority leader nancy pelosi, senate minority leader mitch mcconnell, and house speaker john boehner. have four dates to reach an agreement, but the u.s. economy would go off a fiscal cliff. that's when automatic spending increases and spending cuts would take effect. -- a deal will not be easy, because both sides are involved in a high-stakes political blame game. >> we are here in washington working while the members of the house of representatives are out watching movies and watching the kids play soccer and basketball and doing all kinds of things. they should be here. >> i told the president we would be happy to look at whatever he proposes. the truth is we are coming up against a hard deadline. this is a conversation we should have had months ago. clerk democrats want to extend bush-era tax cuts to everyone except those americans making to a hundred $50,000 or more per year. many republicans are against any tax increases. -- democrats want to extend bush-era tax cuts to everyone except those americans making $250,000 per year. >> d.c. mayor vinc
washington without a plan to avoid the fiscal cliff. the president met with harry reid and also spoke with the house speaker. the president said he hoped any deal would include an extension of unemployment insurance and lay the groundwork for a larger deal. this is about seven minutes. >> good afternoon, everybody. for the last few weeks, i have been working with the leaders of both parties on a proposal to get our deficit under control, to avoid tax cuts -- to avoid tax hikes on the middle- class. and to make sure we can spur jobs and economic growth. a balanced proposal that cuts spending, but also ask the wealthiest americans to pay more, a proposal that will strengthen the middle class over the long haul, and our economy over the long haul. in the course of these negotiations, i offered to compromise with republicans in congress. i met them halfway on taxes and more than halfway on spending. today, i am still willing to get a comprehensive package done. i still believe that reducing our deficit is the right thing to do for the long-term health of our economy and the confidence of
alicia reid is in east palo alto with the latest period >> this fence has collapsed and the home behind it is cleared out. this weekend flooding caused so much damage that people are not even allowed to come back in their homes. >> our staff will be working with the owners and ordered to begin some of the repairs. six other families were evacuated but are now at home. the memory of the flood is still very busy periods >>. >> now cleaning up, neighbors spent christmas day washing mud from their homes. >> it was just too muddy. i had to get some of the mud out of the way. >> crews laid down the sandbags along the banks to prevent further flooding. >> we found that the flow the other night was the third highest since early '50s. i did not state that will say anything like this so we should be okay. >> a street race between two vehicles in vallejo least to hit and run accident that killed a 54 year-old man. he is in critical condition monday night. police said that neither vehicle stopped after they hit the pedestrian. >> we receive multiple 91 calls and each person that called them stated
, that meeting gets underway in less than five hours at the white house. senate leaders harry reid and mitch mcdonnell and john boehner and nancy will sit down with president obama. it's the first time all five are meeting since november. economists hope they'll come up with a plan to avoid automatic tax increases and government spending cuts. some fear the meet as good just for show, however a big development with the senate minority leader. he spoke directly with the president for the first time in negotiations. >> i told the president we would be happy to look at whatever he proposes but the truth is we're coming up against a hard dead line here and as i said, this is a conversation we should have had months ago. >> the main sticking point is who should pay more in taxes. democrats want a hike on households making more than $400,000 a year and republican aids say their leaders might get on board with that offer. >>> meanwhile if they aren't able to avoid the fiscal cliff people here in alabama will be especially hard hit. that's because prop 30 will soon mean higher sales taxes and higher
the senate and harry reid but it has to go back to the house. then what? >> the other part is the senate. the 60 vote rule of the filibuster. they have to clear that 60-vote point if somebody blocks this in the senate. then it goes back to the house. there's a lot of questions about whether spiker boehner can control his republican caucus. he could not get the votes a week ago and we don't know if we could this time. what might happen is the tax provisions -- the taxes go up january 1st and then the senate might arrange for then a vote to cut taxes, which is a lot less onerous than to allow taxes to increase or vote to raise taxes. so without getting too far into the weeds they're trying to find a method to prevent the more dangerous economic issues from taking effect but at the same time reduce the political pressure on those, particularly conservatives who don't want to raise taxes. >> we just lowered your taxes, we let it go up then lowered it so we're the good guys. the question i don't think anybody gets, they're coming back tomorrow. the president, congress is coming back from vaca
get that done. i just spoke to speaker boehner and met with senator reid. i have asked congress to work on a package that prevents a tax hike on middle-class americans, protect unemployment insurance for 2 million americans, and lays the groundwork for further work on growth and deficit reduction. that is an achievable goal. that can get done in 10 days. once this legislation is agreed to, i expect democrats and republicans to get back to washington and have it passed both chambers. i will immediately signed it into law before january 1 of next year. averting this tax hike is not a democratic or republican responsibility. with their votes, the american people have determined that governing is a shared responsibility between both parties. in this congress, laws can only pass with support from democrats and republicans. and that means nobody gets 100% of what they want. everybody has to give a little bit in a sensible way. we move forward together, or we do not move forward and all. so, as we leave town for a few days to be with our families for the holidays, i hope it gives every
to senate majority leader harry reid to try to cobble something together that can get some republican support in the senate and the house to avoid the fiscal cliff. we are one week away from it, as you mentioned, and republicans are not even part of the discussions, both in the senate and in the house, and at this point they are certainly maybe having a working christmas. senate democrats and republicans, but i think it's interesting just to kind of recap what's going on here. before president obama and house speaker john boehner were working on a much bigger package obviously, not just to avoid the fiscal cliff but to try and tackle the long-term fiscal health of the country, trying to overall it was expected to raise some taxes, try to deal with entitlement reform and tax reform, those other big things like entitlement reform and tax reform get kicked into the new year, dana, so it's the gift that keeps on giving on this cli clifftmas. >> taking this pretty far. one of the key questions is whether or not senate democratic leader harry reid will be able to get enough republicans in t
. the white house is talking about senate democrats about what senate majority leader harry reid will have to cobble together when the senate reconvenes on the 27th and that's really the last-ditch effort. it's seen as the senate trying to do something that can also pass the house, so this is exactly what you would expect. the real problem though is as of this morning, just a week out from when the fiscal cliff is expected to hit. there's no discussions between congressional democrats and congressional republicans even on the staff level. this is what democratic and republican sources are telling me, and overall just to remind people, instead of this being -- here's what we expect. instead of this being some big bill to try to deal with the long-term fiscal health of the country which is what the fiscal cliff was supposed to be an incentive to do, we're expecting now that this is just some measure to avert the fiscal cliff which is the tax hikes, the spending cuts, each if they deal with the spending cuts and we're waiting to see what the measure will look like. i know what a hard-hitting
harry reid before going to hawaii and his offer was to extend the tax cuts for incomes under $250,000, extend unemployment insurance benefits, and the lady across the board automatic cuts that are supposed to start january 1. that seems to be a non starter with republicans. it's hard to see where we go from here. host: have they been talking over the christmas break at all? also, one has been the role of senator mitch mcconnell? guest: the line that comes from the speakers office all the time is the line of communication remain open. i don't know how much talking they did as the president was in hawaii spending time with his family and the speaker was back home in ohio, i believe. i don't know that for sure. everyone was doing their family time and not really working that significantly on something. i think there was probably some minimal conversation, but not a lot. as for the senate minority leader mitch mcconnell, i think that is a good one. a lot has been made in the past few days about him taking a higher profile role in these negotiations. while i don't like prognosticating
they had to figure out, victor, is whether or not harry reid working with the white house on this can get enough votes from republicans to cross party lines for even a scaled back measure, which the president laid out in general on friday, would just be to keep americans' taxes where they are for those making $250,000 or less. and to do a couple of other things, unemployment benefits, maybe, maybe extend the estate tax cut, which is -- which is also going to run out, but, again, they're not even -- the senator won't even consider doing this, i'm told, unless he's sure they'll get through the senate and the house because politically they don't think there is any reason for congress to take votes that are just going to fail. also, they that i it will be bad for the markets, even worse for the markets to have failed votes and then go off the fiscal cliff. >> so the idea that john boehner is even having this conference call, discussing the possibility of bringing the house back into order, is that an indication that he's optimistic that there will be something that he could get a few minority
reid will have a plan c ready to go and rumors after $400 billion price tag. >> big chunk of change. we're eyeing a massive winter storms that spawned at least last night this deadly tornado. as it moves north, that storm we'll look at the danger it poses for many americans especially if you're trying to travel anywhere today. folks there living through rare holiday twisters react to a christmas day storm they say they will never forget. >> i've never seen one in real life. just to be able to hear one from that far away, it is about a mile from where we are and you could still hear it. it was, it was pretty amazing. [ mother ] you can't leave the table till you finish your vegetables. [ clock ticking ] [ male announcer ] there's a better way... v8 v-fusion. vegetable nutrition they need, fruit taste they love. could've had a v8. or...try kids boxes! kelly: "fox business alert." with just days until taxes go up on almost every american, there's a growing debate out there over whether top senate democrat leader harry reid will even have a plan-c to avoid the oncoming fiscal cliff and whet
, the word we're getting is that harry reid is going to pass an extension of the bush tax cuts for anybody under 250,000, extend unemployment benefits for two million folks. um, now, if that happens, it goes to the house, and the house will probably have to put it up. aren't republicans, your party, going to wish that they had passed plan b? >> absolutely, gregg. look, plan b really should have been our plan a, number one. number two, plan b was really the idea of chuck schumer and nancy pelosi as recently as in this summer. to set the threshold on incomes to a million dollars versus 250,000, allow those tax rates for a million and above go up, the president talked about taxing millionaires and billionaires, that would be right, and now let the rest of the country enjoy the extension of the full bush tax cuts which i think we now even see democrats acknowledging have meaningful -- gregg: basil, if it doesn't work, the president's going to have egg on his face, right? >> no, not at all. gregg: come on. >> the president has come back with a compromise. the people that have egg on their face
out of town until sunday, senate majority leader harry reid admitted a deal seems unlikely. >> i have to be very honest, mr. president, i don't know time wise how it can happen now. >> reporter: in a scathing attack, reid called house speaker john boehner a dictator, and blamed him for letting members stay home with no deal in sight. >> we are here in washington, working. while the members of the house of representatives are out watching movies and watching their kids play soccer and basketball. john boehner seems to care more about keeping his speakership. than about keeping the nation on firm financial footing. >> reporter: the republican leader responded saying it's democrats who failed to lead. >> make no mistake, the only reason the democrats have been trying to deflect attention onto me and my colleagues over the past few weeks, is that they don't have a plan of their own. >> reporter: president obama returned to washington for a last-minute push before leaving vacation in hawaii, he had separate phone conversations with congressional leaders. but it's not clear the talks helped
to the drawing board with the president, with senator reid, and with the democrats in the house and to put together something 37 there is common ground we could find. we can't find it if everybody keeps saying it is my way or the highway. >> i will take this a step purtds. on my broadcast earlier today, someone state willed were about 50 or so in the republican caucus with whom you can't even find any sense of reason. they said it is just ill logical the theory that they are going after and that there is nothing that will convince these groups, this group of people, to come to the table and compromise. if -- if -- >> if that's -- this is the tea party people. so they say that we don't really tax increases even for people making a million dollars. that's why they refuse to agree with this. that's why speaker boehner needs to come across the aisle to leader pelosi and the democrats and say okay, i -- i might have 50 people who disagree with me. but i have 200 people who agree with me. let's come up with a compromise. let's try to get 50 or 100 or 150 democrats. that's what -- that's what our
to mitch mcconnell and harry reid to figure out something, send it back to the republicans in the house and hope enough will join democrat and vote for it. >> given the reasons for which mr. boehner was unable to deliver his own caucus in the house, do you think anybody could? >> i don't know that anybody -- tom would be a better authority on that as having been in the republican leadership. but they had the majority. the speaker actually had a reasonable proposition from a republican stand point of a million-dollar cutoff. let everybody under a million dollars have a tax cut. i don't know why he couldn't deliver it, quite frankly. >> why do you think, representative, that he couldn't deliver the republican caucus? >> a number of members upwards of 50 said they wouldn't vote for a tax increase without accompanying decreases in revenue. they did not like the deal. over 95% of these caucus members come from districts that romney carried. most come with over 55% of the vote nape ear not threatened, but they feel that a bad deal is worse than no deal. >> so that means that they are deciding
. the question is, who? the president met with senate majority leader harry reid before going to hawaii and his offer was to extend the tax cuts for incomes under $250,000, extend unemployment insurance benefits, and the lady across -- and then delay the across the board automatic cuts that are supposed to start january 1. that seems to be a non starter with republicans. it's hard to see where we go from here. host: have they been talking over the christmas break at all? also, one has been the role of -- what has been the role of senator mitch mcconnell? guest: the line that comes from the speakers office all the time is the line of communication remain open. i don't know how much talking they did as the president was in hawaii spending time with his family and the speaker was back home in ohio, i believe. i don't know that for sure. everyone was doing their family time and not really working that significantly on something. i think there was probably some minimal conversation, but not a lot. as for the senate minority leader mitch mcconnell, i think that is a good one. a lot has been made in
leader, harry reid as well as the senate minority leader mitch mcconnell, trying to figure out something that could ultimately pass the senate and then next pass the house with not only republican support but democratic support, as well. and the president holding out hope this could happen. take a listen. >> nobody can get 100% of what they want. and this is not simply a contest between parties in terms of who looks good and who doesn't. call me a hopeless optimist. but i actually still think we can get it done. >> but the chances of getting something big done that deals with the fiscal health of the country, miguel, out the window at this point. this is something we're talking about to deal just with those tax cuts set to expire for those making $250,000 or less. and also the president wants to deal with extending unemployment benefits for people who are out of work, but when it comes to dealing with, say, entitlement reform and other things to bring down the deficit, tax reform, that's not expected to be part of this. >> wow, pushing it right to the edge. will americans, workers across
adjourned yesterday, majority leader harry reid and minority leader mitch mcconnell debated the fiscal cliff and talked about negotiations surrounding the tax hikes and automatic spending cuts scheduled to take effect in a few days. this is about 5 minutes -- 15 minutes. >> madam president, you'll excuse me if i'm a little frustrated at the situation we find ourselves in, but last night president obama called myself and the speaker and maybe others from hawaii and asked if there was something we could do to avoid the fiscal cliff. i say i'm a little frustrated, because we've been asking the president and the democrats to work with us on a bipartisan agreement for months, literallye for months. a plan that would simplify theod tax code, shrink the deficit, protect the taxpayers and grow the economy. but democrats consistently rejected those offers. the president chose instead to spend his time on the campaign trail. reelected. and congressional democrats sat on theirel hands. now republicans have bent over backwards. we stepped way, way out of our comfort zone. we wanted an agreement. w but w
and met with senate majority leader harry reid but that there was not a deal in place to avoid the fiscal cliff at the end of the year. the president also said he may be a hopeless optimist but he doesn't think it's too late to compromise. >> as we leave town for a few days to be with our families for the holidays, i hope it gives everybody some perspective. everybody can cool off. everybody can drink some eggnog, have some christmas cookies, sing some christmas carols, enjoy the company of loved ones. and then i would ask every member of congress while they are back home to think about that think about the obligations we have to the people who sent us here. think about the hardship that so many americans will endure if congress does nothing at all. >> part of the president's remarks yesterday focused on the balance of power in washington and he said since voters in november picked him to run the white house, and democrats to run the senate and republicans to run the house, nobody is ever going to get 100% of what they want in legislation. cconnell, the the case, top republican in the sen
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